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To end wildlife trafficking, engage with local communities – study

The international donor community and governments have invested heavily in fighting illegal wildlife trade, but so far, they haven’t succeeded in ending rhino poaching. New research from UCT shows that for these initiatives to succeed, local communities – many of which live in or near protected areas – need to be involved.

Painted Wolves

Everything is still and quiet as the sun pounds the floodplain of the Zambezi Valley. It is late afternoon, but the intensity of the heat has not abated. In front of me are a group of animals lying in a heap. Occasionally a big round ear will twitch, or a head might lazily rise, only …

Discovering the forest birds of Maasai Mara

The banks of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara of Kenya offer ideal habitat for birds – and for bird-watchers, especially if you find a puddle of water, and especially during the heat of the day.

SA rhino film wins top awards at US film festivals

The South African feature documentary STROOP – Journey into the Rhino Horn War has won the coveted Best Documentary award at the prestigious San Diego International Film Festival held this past weekend.

Newborn giraffe: Defying the odds

It was an honour to watch this giraffe mother expertly care for her newborn in his first moments, magical to watch as he finally stood and heartwarming to witness his first steps.

Kruger’s roaming lions

“Never a dull moment in the bush” is something my husband and I tell each other all the time. Well, that is certainly true for the events of a few weekends ago when a male lion got out of our stunning Kruger National Park!

Kruger 10-year management plan

SANParks has released its Kruger National Park management plan covering the next 10 years. This 259-page report is essential reading for Kruger fans who enjoy debating the issues that the Kruger management team has to deal with on a regular basis, such as problem-animal management, hotels in Kruger and trophy hunting of free-roaming wildlife on reserves adjoining Kruger.

Cannibal cobras

While Cape cobras are known to eat other snake species – up to a third of their diet – recorded instances of Cape cobras eating individuals of the same species has been extremely rare… until now, when researchers investigated and discovered how common and widespread cannibalism in cobras really is.

Kenya’s Lion Guardians

Dawn is just breaking when Kamunu Saitoti sets out across the Amboseli bush in search of lions. At first glance, he appears much like any other Maasai warrior: Lean and tall, his dark red shuka is wrapped around his torso and waist concealing his only weapon, a long knife with a simple wooden handle. Brightly …

Tracking with the Ju/’Hoansi Master Trackers in Kruger

The last three Master Trackers of the Ju/’hoanis from Nyae Nyae in Namibia were invited to the Kruger in South Africa to participate in some pioneering trails. They came to display their extraordinary tracking prowess to guests participating in walking trails. This is an account of their journey.

Video: 500 animals journey from Kruger to Zinave

The past two months saw the translocation of zebra, blue wildebeest and impala from Kruger National Park in South Africa to Zinave National Park in Mozambique. The overall goal is to reintroduce 7,500 game animals in Zinave over the next five years and to date over 1,300 animals have been rewilded to the park.

Elephants: Listen to the people of the Okavango – opinion

The elephant – an iconic species that is beloved around the world is not such a gentle giant to the people who actually live with Earth’s largest mammal. This is the story of over 16,000 people from 15 settlements in the eastern Okavango Delta panhandle who are trapped between a river and over 18,000 elephants.

Video: Lions return to Malawi’s Liwonde National Park

African Parks has completed a series of lion translocations as part of wider efforts to restore Malawi’s parks; and for the first time in 20 years, a population of the iconic predators has been re-established in Liwonde National Park.

Safari tips: Going on safari with kids

Travelling with kids on a safari in Africa may seem like a daunting task. They can get bored very easily, especially on long road trips, and keeping their attention and interest piqued about wildlife can become a tedious, exhausting and stressful task. However, with proper planning and armed with the knowledge of what your kids enjoy, you can make a safari quite an enjoyable and memorable experience for the whole family.

The Cape Leopard

The Cape leopard is the stuff of legends. This seldom seen, highly elusive apex predator survives in some of the most inhospitable habitat possible – the rugged, low nutritional fynbos biome of the Cape Fold Mountain ranges. Despite the habitat limitations, this region did historically host many wildlife species such as black rhino, Cape mountain …

Elephants with a purpose

Why did 53 elephants travel more than 1,250 km across three different countries this month? Here’s why.

Investigating South Africa’s wildlife cryptotrade

A casual search of some of South Africa’s biggest online marketplaces shows just how easily endangered wildlife species are reduced to their parts – and how simple it is to sell them online while retaining anonymity.

Video: Lions make a comeback

With wild lions under pressure from so many threats, this is a wonderful story of lions being reintroduced to an area that used to have lions.

Giraffes – The Silent Extinction

It’s hard to comprehend that giraffe numbers have plummeted by almost 40% in just three decades. This rapid slide now places them amongst the most threatened species on the planet, with only approximately 98,445 (subsequently increased to 115,322) individuals remaining across this massive African continent! A population collapse of this nature could conceivably be driven …

My fight to save Liberia’s pangolins

Two steps forward, one step back in pangolin conservation. Liberia is a country in West Africa that has overcome civil war, battled through the Ebola crisis and is currently recovering from the impacts. But there is one more issue to confront – the illegal wildlife and bushmeat trade.

Guarding Limpopo National Park’s carnivores

A new carnivore protection ranger force, the Limpopo Lion Protection Team, has been trained and deployed – specifically assigned to support the Greater Limpopo Carnivore Programme and tasked with securing known lion ranges from targeted lion poaching.

Zambia’s hippo cull: Valid concerns and questions from those affected

A showdown is looming between tourism operators in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and trophy hunters, in the wake of the Zambian government’s decision to cull up to 2,000 hippos over a 5-year period in Luangwa Valley, across the river from the tourism lodges – and to award the culling contract to a South African trophy hunting outfit Umlilo Safaris (so much for the empowerment of local people and generation of revenue that stays in Zambia).

Mountain gorilla numbers surpass 1,000

The population of mountain gorillas, one of the world’s most endangered species,, has increased by a quarter to over 1,000 individuals since 2010, wildlife authorities said.

The black & white of African wildlife explained

Every now and then nature experiments by producing a black or white mutation of an animal or bird that is otherwise normally coloured. There is something magical about seeing a white lion, black leopard or ‘king’ cheetah in the wild, as if it were a spiritual shadow of the species, a form of higher being.

Ranger forces strengthened in Mozambique

On 16 May 2018, 39 recruits, of which three are women, celebrated their graduation as rangers during a passing out parade held in the Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. This follows the successful completion of a gruelling eight-week ranger training course presented by the Southern African Wildlife College, that prepared the new recruits for their stand against wildlife crime in the various conservation areas to which they will soon be deployed.

Identifying venomous snakes: How hard can it be?

Identifying venomous snakes is a lot more complicated than you’d think. There aren’t any hard and fast rules to distinguish a venomous snake from a non-venomous snake in southern Africa, and many people get bitten by snakes that they misidentify as ‘harmless’. Here we look at some misconceptions when it comes to venomous and non-venomous snake identification, and what to do when you encounter a venomous snake.

SA hunters expelled over canned lion hunting

Two South African hunting associations that embrace canned lion hunting have lost an appeal to retain their membership to Europe’s top hunting organisation, and have been thrown out of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation for breach of policy.

Wild black rhinos to return to Chad after 50-year absence

An unprecedented collaboration between the South African and Chadian Governments, SANParks and African Parks, is enabling the translocation of critically endangered black rhinos from South Africa to a secure park in Chad on the 3rd May, reintroducing the species to the country after almost fifty years of local extinction.

Lion mass slaughter house

The Blood Lions team and other environmentalists reacted with horror to reports that a lion slaughterhouse was established ‘overnight’ on a farm outside Bloemfontein.

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